FIJI SUN POLL SODELPA Claws Way Back To No 2
If Ro Teimumu can maintain momentum, she will break away from pack
SODELPA and its leader Ro Teimumu Kepa have displaced the National Federation Party at No 2 in the political rankings, the latest Fiji Sun poll reveals
The 14th weekly poll shows the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama, and his FijiFirst party consolidating their unassailable lead in the build-up to the September 17 General Election.
In the Preferred Prime Minister poll, Mr Bainimarama gains two points to sit at 79 per cent. Ro Teimumu jumps by two points to six per cent. NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad lost two points to score four per cent. Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry remains at one per cent. Felix Anthony, leader of the People’s Democratic Party, crashed from one per cent to zero.
The results show the harsh realities of the current political climate for the four registered parties opposing the Prime Minister’s FijiFirst. It would be to their own peril if they write these off. It’s quite obvious that Mr Anthony has a lot of work to do.
Leading the trade union movement is quite different to leading a political party. Dr Prasad needs to get used to his fluctuating fortunes and that there is no room for complacency.
Mr Chaudhry has hardly moved in the past few weeks. But Ro Teimumu appears to be on the roll. If she can maintain this momentum she could gradually break away from the pack and be in a position to provide credible challenge to Mr Bainimarama.
In the Preferred Party stakes, the FijiFirst has shot from 62 to 68 per cent. At No 2 is SODELPA increasing from four to six per cent. NFP has dropped from six to four per cent. PDP loses one point to three and FLP stays at one per cent.
The announcement of candidates and the release of complete manifestos will be the catalyst that sets off the campaign.
Quick off the blocks was the NFP which yesterday announced 11 candidates. Other parties will follow soon. The NFP has an advantage with the head start.
The weekly poll results are expected to change significantly soon as voters become better informed by political parties. The calibre of candidates will also have an influence on the voting trend.
If voters are not familiar with the candidates, they will vote on party lines. Expect some voting on racial and religious lines.
This group still clings on to the old values and do not accept changes in the new Fiji.
On paper, SODELPA has limited its scope because of its pro-iTaukei position.
Its only hope is to capture the majority of the iTaukei votes and hope that the other parties will split up the Indo-Fijian votes.
It’s traditional approach to chiefs to clear the way for its campaign, is a strategic move aimed at targeting the i-Taukei support.
But it could also be its Achilles heel if it fails to win enough votes. The weekly poll also asked people whether SODELPA was focusing too much on the chiefs than the people. Seventy two per cent said “yes” and 26 per cent said “no”. Two per cent were unsure.